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Pushcart Nominations 2020

The Pushcart Prize logo for 2020

We’ve made our nominations for the Pushcart Prize 2020. We wish we could nominate something from every single book we published this year, because we believe all of our authors are winners or we wouldn’t have published them in the first place, but the Pushcart committee limits us to six nominations per year. And every year that means we’ve had to leave six authors out. (We publish 12 titles per year on average)

We at Madville Publishing are pleased to nominate the following for your consideration for the 2020 Pushcart Prize:

Three poems:

  1. “Mysteries of the Corn” by Kyle Potvin from the poetry anthology, Mother Mary Comes to Me: A Pop Culture Poetry Anthology edited by Karen Head & Collin Kelley. Madville Publishing, (November 2020).
  2. “I Know You’re in Detroit” by George Drew from his poetry collection, Drumming Armageddon. Madville Publishing, (June 2020).
  3. “Hive Mind” by Gerry LaFemina from his prose poetry collection, Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping. Madville Publishing, (February 2020).

Three short stories:

  1. “Ritual” by Aden Albert from the short story anthology, Runaway, edited by Luanne Smith, Michael Gills, & Lee Zacharias. Madville Publishing, (March 2020).
  2. “Lubbock, 1974” by Bobby Horecka from his short story collection, Long Gone & Lost: True Fictions and Other Lies. Madville Publishing, (March 2020).
  3. “The Last Ride, 1928” by Brian Petkash from his short story collection, Mistakes by the Lake. (May, 2020).

Congratulations everybody! Thank you for providing such high quality work for us, that we want to include it as one of our Pushcart Prize Nominations for 2020. And thank you for all you do to promote Madville Publishing.

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Halloween Giveaway 2020

A promotional photo of the 2020 Halloween Book Bundle. From left to right: A goblet with a dragon for a handle has whisps of vapor trailing down its side. Next to it is a little green bottle, also dripping vapor. A gold skull and small red bottle sit on top of a stack of books that are in the bundle. Next to that is a gold statue of a cat. All of this sits infront of white wood panellin with a grey cheese cloth artfully draped across it. Candy corn is sprinkled around the image.
A promotional photo of the 2020 Halloween Book Bundle. From left to right: A goblet with a dragon for a handle has whisps of vapor trailing down its side. Next to it is a little green bottle, also dripping vapor. A gold skull and small red bottle sit on top of a stack of books that are in the bundle. Next to that is a gold statue of a cat. All of this sits infront of white wood panellin with a grey cheese cloth artfully draped across it. Candy corn is sprinkled around the image.

In celebration of spooks, frights, and pumpkin spice, Madville Publishing is running a Halloween giveaway!

You could win five of our spookiest, darkest books including The Memoir of the Minotaur, No Evil is Wide, Fairview Chronicles: A Wayward Propisition, The Autobiography of Francis N. Stein, and What Magick May Not Alter.

“How do I enter to win?”

-you

STEP 1:

Follow @madvillepub on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

STEP 2:

Tell us your favorite Spooky Season Book to read.

STEP 3:

Tag and share this contest with your friends and followers so they can enter as well.

STEP 4:

Have a very Happy Halloween!

Want to cut out the middle man and just buy the 2020 Halloween Giveaway Bundle outright? Order the bundle here.

Winners will be announced Monday, October 26th, 2020.

We have extended the entry period to Halloween Night!

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Contributors Announced for Being Home Anthology

Being Home Front Cover

Editors Sam Pickering and Bob Kunzinger have announced their final choices for inclusion in Madville Publishing’s 2021 essay anthology, Being Home.

And here they are:

CONTRIBUTORS:

• Johnnie Bernhard “Ignorance or Innocence” • Rick Campbell “Celibacy and Ancestry” • Maryah Converse “Becoming Bedouin” • Susan Delgado Watts “Being Home” • John Flynn “Living Between the Leaves” • Debra Frank “The Accident House” • Karin Hedetniemi “Inheritance” • Anndee Hochman “2 Rms, Family View: The Ones We Call Home” • Richard Holinger “Cornwall Village” • Jamie Hughes “Making Room” • Robert Iulo “The Neighborhood”* • Kyle Ingrid Johnson “The House and Its Moments”* • Judy Johnson “My Brothers” • Deb Liggett “Marking Our Place” • Mel Livatino “Going Home Again” • Geoffrey Martin “Birdland” • Robert Miltner “Into the Bargain” • Vicky Oliver “Alice in Motherland” • Lea Page “Everything and the Kitchen Sink” • Rhonda Ray “My Rock” • Claude Clayton Smith “Blue Heaven” • Marsha Lynn Smith “4 Generations of Black Hair Matters” • Bill Stifler “Not From Around Here” • Elizabeth Templeman “In Place” • Elaine Terranova “Being Home” • Lee Zacharias “On a Rocky Inland Coast” • Madelaine Zadik “Triumph”

* asterisks indicate the judge’s favorites.

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Under the Cover—Mistakes by the Lake

Mistakes by the Lake cover

Book covers are amazing things. They can lure readers in, jolt their imaginations, prod them to, perhaps, pick up a book and read it. And during the reading of a book, its cover can be revisited, prompt additional exploration as to what the cover means vis a vis the contents, the characters, the story.

So, I’m not sure Bo Diddley (and Kelly Bell) are right (although their music sure isn’t wrong): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnWvPZXLDUU

While any best-of lists will inherently miss some great book covers, when I reflect on covers that stuck with me, these are a few that come to mind:

The Great Gatsby: The painting by Francis Cugat is haunting and captures so much of the book’s vibe.

Jaws: Yeah, that image says it all.

Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone: The image is arresting and creepy. The extra warning—“YOU TELL ON ME YOU’RE DEAD”—when the book’s held at a certain angle, heightens the creepy.

1Q84: I probably could’ve posted only Chip Kidd covers—he’s that good. I just happen to be reading this particular book now.

The Nickel Boys: Its stark design captures devastating heartbreak and loss.

When I signed with Madville Publishing to publish Mistakes by the Lake, Kim Davis, Madville’s Publisher/Director, sent over her first cover idea:

Initially, I liked it. It has the skyline of Cleveland in the background. And the viewfinder symbolically captures the many and varied views of the city that my stories themselves attempt to capture. I liked how the full image would serve as a nice wraparound cover, too:

We discussed playing with the font; I thought, perhaps, it’d be cool to mimic the font used on the Cleveland script signs (https://clevelandtraveler.com/cleveland-script-signs-guide/) that populate the city. But that didn’t look as cool as I thought it would:

And then I decided I wasn’t in love with it. You know, this might be—I hope not, of course!—but this might be the only book I ever publish. I wanted to love the cover.

One thing I appreciate about Madville is how involved their authors can be. So, with Madville’s blessing1, I went a little nuts.

From April through September 2019, I tried out different ideas. A ton of different ideas. I played with different Cleveland skylines, I played with various Cleveland maps, I played with overhead shots of the city, I played with iconic landmarks, I looked at (and even emailed) a few well-regarded Cleveland artists and photographers (Paul Duda [http://www.pauldudagallery.com/] and Jim Lanza [https://www.foundrywoodprints.com/], both of whom were kind enough to work with me should I find a piece of art I liked). As I stated, a little nuts.

One of the challenges, in my mind: Since my collection spans numerous decades of the city’s history, how could we get a cover to capture that timespan?

Here’s just a smattering of what I did. As you can see, I am in no way a designer, but it was exciting when, later on, I learned how to knock out a picture within the title (see the last two). You’ll also see a few early versions of what, ultimately, became the cover.

Madville patiently waited for me to work through my issues. And, finally, I sent six or so for their review.

They really liked the last one. (I liked that one a lot, too. I love how the old 1796 map explodes into the modern skyline. But, it was mildly problematic: as near as I could tell, the Western Reserve Historical Society owned the rights to that map and I had not yet worked out if we could use it or not. But after some back and forth, WRHS kindly agreed to let us incorporate the map in the cover. Also, it was an old map. The best reproduction of it I could find had elements that were roughed up and lost to wear or folds or both. So, I spent far too many hours digitally touching up and redrawing portions of the map to make it whole.)

Then it was in the capable hands of Jacqui Davis, Madville’s graphic designer: “I take the images and fonts the author likes, then, from the images, I establish a color palette. Ideally, this palette contains no more than six colors … three is better. For Brian’s book, the pinks came from a sunset picture he sent—then there’s the black, beige, and white from the map.”

Jacqui sent this back:

I liked it. A lot. And I loved what Jacqui did with the sky and the words and the overall composition. We thought my name might get lost in the busyness of the map, so that was one element to change. Plus, none of us were sure about the sky. We tried it in blue:

We all agreed the surreal pink was a better choice. (I should note that both sky pieces were photographs I took while living in Costa Rica. To not only have such a big say in my cover’s design, but to also use artwork of mine was all very cool.)

A few more tweaks: Could we see more of the map (so “Cuyahoga” was visible)? How would the map look using a parchment color? Could we try a different font? How would “by the” look in a slightly different and subordinated arrangement? From there, Jacqui made additional tweaks. “I chose this font because the letters are imperfect with a slightly organic feel that matches the lettering on the map and the splotchy ink blot textures of the skyline.”

Yes, I loved it. My publisher loved it. And, nearly a year later, I still love it.

1“Madville handles the cover design process a little differently from most traditional and indie publishers in that we involve our authors in the cover design process. This collaboration happens in different ways. We always ask our authors right up front to give us some idea of what they imagine for the cover. Their responses run the gamut from no idea what they want to some who have the artwork picked out and rights secured to use it. From there, the design process goes back and forth with the author allowed to give their input all the way up to the point where I step in and make the final decision, and I’m never going to pick a design the author doesn’t like!” —Kim Davis, Director, Madville Publishing


Brian Petkash Headshot

Brian Petkash was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Tampa and his stories have appeared in Midwestern Gothic and Southword, among other publications. He currently lives in Tampa, Florida, where he remains an avid fan of Cleveland sports.

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George Drew Poem for Brian Petkash

Author Brian Petkash signing books at AWP 2020

To fully appreciate this poem by George Drew for Brian Petkash, you may want to read Brian Petkash’s short story collection, Mistakes by the Lake. (Our authors find inspiration in each others’ work. That’s kind of cool, we think.)


Mistakes at the Table

                                  How now, Sir John?

(Again, for Brian Petkash)
 
First: I’m sitting at the table.
 
Second: I’m sitting at the table trying to think,
              but thoughts keep flitting away,
              like butterflies on fire turning to ashes.
 
Third: The butterflies are real. Or aren’t they?
 
Fourth: I’m eating at the table, crumbs
             littering the placemat dispossessed
             of any value, clumps of empty calories.
 
Fifth: I’m watching on the table ants crisscross
          its width and length like trolley cars        
          transporting crumbs on their last ride.
 
Sixth: The ants aren’t real. Or are they?
 
Seventh: I’m leaning on the table drinking coffee,
               and when I knock it over, it spills,
               turning the tablecloth’s pink purity muddy.
 
Eighth: I’m twitching at the table as the coffee
             spreads over the tablecloth
             like floodwater over a street, a yard, a field.
 
Ninth: I’m marking at the table how a lamp’s circle
           of light shimmers like a moon,
           fading outward into shade, shade into dark.
 
Tenth: I’m still sitting at the table.
 
                                                                 ---George Drew

George Drew is the author of eight poetry collections, with Pastoral Habits: New and Selected PoemsDown & Dirty and The View From Jackass Hill, winner of the 2010 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, all from Texas Review Press. His eighth, Fancy’s Orphan, appeared in 2017 with Tiger Bark Press. Drumming Armageddon is his ninth collection. Recently George won the Knightville Poetry Contest, The New Guard, his poem appearing in the 2017 edition, and two other poems as Honorable Mention in the Steve Kowit Poetry Contest, appeared in the 2018 and 2019 San Diego Poetry Anthology. He was a recipient of the Bucks County Muse Award in 2016 for contributions to the Bucks County PA literary community. Recently, one of his poems from Fancy’s Orphan appeared in Verse Daily. George’s biography will appear in Mississippi Poets: A Literary Guide, University of Mississippi Press, edited by Catherine Savage Brosman.


Mistakes by the Lake cover

Mistakes by the Lake

by Brian Petkash

Set in Cleveland, Ohio, from its earliest beginnings as a forested frontier to the urban blight of modern times, Mistakes by the Lake is a collection of ten thematically-linked stories spanning the many faces of the city’s history: A motorman navigates his 1920’s back-and-forth trolley until he snaps; A stockyards knocker encounters the Virgin Mary during the 1954 World Series; A wannabe wrestles his unruly mind along the flammable 1960’s Cuyahoga River; In a reinvention of Henry IV, a young man must either stick with his bumbling criminal crew or uncover legit ways to support his mother and transgender Gramps.

978-1-948692-32-8 paper 19.95
978-1-948692-33-5 ebook 9.99
5½x8½ , 204 pp.
Short Fiction
May 2020